Celebrate the holiday season by transforming a family recipe into the perfect gift using Emma Jeffery’s tried and true Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial. Spoonflower Berlin crew member Maria shares how she put a German twist on this project using her father’s Stollen recipe in the next installment of our Handmade Holiday Blog Hop!
Maria: Every holiday season I look forward to time spent with my family. While my home in Berlin is only a couple hours north of Dresden, where my parents live, heading home for Christmas is always the most special trip. The excitement that was once filled with gifts and surprises has now been replaced with simple traditions I look forward to year round. My favorite being a slice of my dad’s Stollen, a recipe he only makes once a year. Stollen is a traditional German bread containing dried fruit topped with sugar or icing meant to resemble Jesus as a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. And while I might be a bit bias, my dad makes the best Stollen! This is my first Christmas working at Spoonflower and after seeing the original recipe tea towel I knew I had to make one for my dad for Christmas. Follow along to learn how to whip one up for your friends and family this holiday season! [Read more…] about A German Take on the Classic Recipe Tea Towel
Congratulations to first-time Design Challenge winner Gina of Babybubblco! We were absolutely smitten with her Vintage Ditsy Mistletoe. Gina will receive a Lane Raglan tee with white glove service from our sister brand, Sprout Patterns. Gina will also receive $200 in Spoondollars, professional photography of her printed designs, and lots of email and social media love. Shop all of the lovely top 10 winners here, and why not pick up a few fat quarters at half-off through Friday?
1. 424 votes for Vintage Ditsy Mistletoe by babybubbleco
2. 351 votes for give_a_kiss_under_the_Mistletoe_nuit_M by nadja_petremand
3. 303 votes for Mistletoe Mix by laura_hankins
4. 291 votes for Ditsy Christmas Garden by jill_o_connor
5. 277 votes for Mistletoe and Snow by robyriker
6. 231 votes for Wildwood: Mistletoe Dear by sheri_mcculley
7. 228 votes for Mistletoe Night on green ditsy by robinpickens
8. 226 votes for Mistletoe Merriment White & Red Christmas Birds by heatherdutton
9. 222 votes for Mistletoe by ceciliamok
10. 219 votes for Mistletoe Love Birds by honoluludesign [Read more…] about Announcing the Ditsy Mistletoe Winners
This past October, with the help of Marbles Kids Museum, Spoonflower got in the Halloween spirit at the annual Kooky Spooky Halloween party. Just two months later, Marbles was getting into the holiday spirit transforming the museum from a haunted mansion into a winter wonderland for Evening with Elves. Today, the Marbles team visits the blog to give you a closer look inside the transformation and show how they used Spoonflower’s Performance Pique and Fleece to make it all happen.
Delicate, heirloom holiday decorations are great, but there’s a special place in our hearts for functional decorations we can get a little use out of! Today our friend Emma Jeffery of the blog Hello Beautiful stops by to share a video tutorial taking you through the steps of how to create your own customized pillow design in Picmonkey to print onto fabric. Then, she’ll walk you through how to stitch up an easy zipper pillow with optional piping. Whether you’re making a thoughtful gift for a loved one or just trying to step up the festive decor in your own home, this tutorial is sure to teach you a thing or two!
If you liked this tutorial, subscribe to our Youtube channel where we’ve been adding lots of fun tutorials and tips.
Looking for more ways to personalize your holiday décor? Check out Emma’s tutorial for an easy embroidered holiday banner!
Looking for a fun advent calendar to make and use for years to come? Our super creative friend Anda Corrie of Berlin visits the blog to share a simple cut-and-sew advent calendar she created that fits on one yard of fabric. Read on for the full how to!
Anda: Like me, do you usually wait until it’s way too late to create the Pinterest-worthy advent calendar of your dreams and end up stuck with a printed paper box from Kaiser’s? Make this pocket-style hanging calendar easily in one afternoon instead—and use again year after year!
Big congratulations are in order for our grand-prize winner, Kate Fearn of the UK (aka Petite_Circus)! Kate will receive $350 in cash and her winning design will be licensed for an exclusive collection of customizable Commonthread stockings to be sold this winter. Kate also takes home a $100 shopping spree to Commonthread and $350 in Spoondollars. Heleen in second and Jill in third place have won $100 in Spoonflower and $100 in Commonthread credit, and the rest of the top ten take home $50 in Spoonflower credit and $50 in Commonthread credit. Give them all a big round of applause!
Are you ready to celebrate Christmas in August, and get a jump start on your holiday designing? Our friends at DMC’s Commonthread have just the challenge for you. They’re looking for a “Vintage Christmas” design for a limited edition line of exclusive stitchable stockings to sell! Get a head start on holiday and channel your inner Mary Blair to whip up a design reminiscent of the holidays of yore. Not sure where to start? Check out our Pinterest board populated by Spoonflower + Commonthread for plenty of good old fashioned vintage Christmas inspo. [Read more…] about Announcing a Vintage Christmas Design Challenge
It takes the form of a floor-length onesie built for four, which the Chalmers family of Rochester, Minnesota, is climbing into this festive season in a bid to pioneer a unique new form of year-end newsletter.
It may also be the world’s largest newsletter, with a surface area of nearly 50 sq. ft.
Diane and Greg Chalmers and their sons, Garron, 13, and Keenan, 10, plan to model their newsletter during family visits over the holidays. Their one-piece, wearable newsletter is, they feel, the perfect way to show seasonal togetherness, while delivering the year’s family news in a distinctive new format.
Diane, 39, and Greg, 41, have been sending a holiday season newsletter to family and friends for about 15 years. It provides the usual year-end update of family happenings at home, work, school and on vacation.
They therefore printed this year’s newsletter on fabric using Spoonflower. They picked a stretchy, polyester fabric that allows some forgiveness in sizing.
A seamstress then turned the fabric into an outfit – a giant, floor-length garment designed to fit the whole family, complete with holes for each of their heads but a total of only two sleeves. “It’s not super comfortable,” concedes Diane, “but it’s festive and fun.”
“This is a small step for a family but a giant leap for family newsletters,” says Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower. “Wearable technology is old news; wearable newsletters are the next big thing.”
Trend Alert: Technology is helping newsletters get more creative
Indeed, the Chalmers family are not the only ones who will be sporting one this holiday season. Joe Wright, an employee of Spoonflower, as well as an artist and serial writer of year-end newsletters, is also wearing his this year in the form of a floor-length robe or “snugzee”. He has even made a matching one for his cat Lucy, the first known example of a newsletter custom-made for a cat.
Meanwhile, Doug Hughes of Santa Clara, California, previously known as the author of the world’s longest Christmas newsletter, in the form of a 160-page book, has now produced the world’s widest, by using Spoonflower to print this year’s newsletter on six-foot roll of gift-wrap. He is using it to wrap a Christmas greeting card printed on fabric as a tea-towel.
A growing number of people are now also producing video newsletters. The most striking recent example was a rap video newsletter called “Xmas Jammies”, produced two years ago by the Holderness family of Raleigh, North Carolina. It went viral and by now has over 16 million views on YouTube.
The Chalmers family newsletter itself carries news of everything from the children’s progress on their musical instruments to Grandpa George’s 70th birthday and the family vacation to North Carolina, where the boys saw the ocean for the first time.
Those close family members, meanwhile, whom the Chalmers are unable to visit personally will instead be receiving the same news but printed on a tea towel, also via Spoonflower.
Greg is the only full-time clown in the family, Diane has a day job as a project manager in IT. But the whole family performs regularly together as a clown troupe known as Giggle Givers. They entertain at children’s parties, school events, churches, parades and company picnics.
The first time that they performed as a family was over eight years ago when Garron was five and Keenan two. “Keenan fell asleep in a
wagon off-stage before our skit started; so, we just pulled it on stage with us,” says Diane. "He woke up at the end of our performance, sat up, and looked at the audience, who went wild with applause."
“Like Giggle Givers”, says Diane, “we hope that our wearable newsletter will make people laugh, while the tea-towel version will be a great way of remembering 2015.”
First he published the world’s longest Christmas newsletter, as a 160-page book; now, he’s published the world’s widest, on a six-foot roll of gift-wrap.
If writing year-end family newsletters were an extreme sport, Doug Hughes of Santa Clara, California would surely be world champion.
Ten years ago he set a world record – unbeaten to this day – for the longest Christmas newsletter, when he published his family’s as a 160-page paperback book. This year he’s back, with a different record – for the world’s widest newsletter.
He has used Spoonflower to publish the 2015 edition of the family’s annual newsletter – known as “Hughes News” – on a roll of gift-wrap, six feet wide by just over two-foot high.
Doug, 66, and his wife Diane, 58, are then using the gift-wrap to wrap a unique festive greeting card printed by Spoonflower on fabric in the form of a tea-towel.
“This marks a new era in the history of Christmas newsletters,” says Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower. “Doug Hughes has raised the bar again.”
This year’s newsletter is the latest shot in Doug’s decades-long campaign to change the image of the oft-maligned end-of-year family newsletter.
"We’ve spent the past 30 years on a mission to prove that the venerable Christmas newsletter doesn’t have to be boring. “With a little creativity, it can be touching, entertaining and fun”, says Hughes. “Friends write to us every year thanking us for keeping them on our mailing list.”
Apart from the year that they produced their annual missive as 160-page book, the Hugheses have been sending out a 16-page family newsletter each year for the past 30.
Their 2015 newsletter contains all the Hughes family news fit to print, from news of daughter Karin’s wedding to photos of a cruise to celebrate the 80th and 85th birthdays of Diane’s parents… plus some of the Christmas carol parodies that Doug pens each year. It is printed on the gift-wrap in a repeating pattern.
The tea-towel, meanwhile, depicts a unique pyramid of popcorn tins and stuffed animals that the Hughes family erects each year in their entryway.
Doug, who works in communications for Lockheed Martin, does not mind that that some people will view his increasingly elaborate newsletters as the ultimate "humblebrag." “Some folks go all-out to decorate their homes for Christmas," he argues. “We go out all out to do something special with our newsletter.”
Doug was inspired to try something new for this year’s newsletter by the 30th anniversary of Hughes News, the 25th anniversary of his marriage to Diane and the tenth of the publication of the world’s longest newsletter in 2005.